Comcast has officially thrown its hat into the ring with an all-cash offer of $65 billion to acquire Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox.
The $65 billion deal amounts to $35.00 per share in cash, roughly 19% more than Disney’s all-stock offer of $52.4 billion.
The news was confirmed in a letter from Comcast to the board of directors over at Twenty-First Century Fox address to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch. The details of the offer including the structure of the company with respect to the spin-off of “New Fox” and the regulatory risk provisions and related termination fee, are agreeable to the Twenty-First Century Fox shareholders.
In the letter signed by Comcast chairman Brian Roberts, he writes that Comcast has “long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox” adding that they were “disappointed when Twenty-First Century Fox decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price”.
Interestingly it was the positive outcome of the recent AT&T/Time Warner case that prompted this new all-cash offer. Roberts said that they are “highly confident that our proposed transaction will obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner and that our transaction is as or more likely to receive regulatory approval than the Disney transaction.”
Other details include the same $2.5 billion reverse termination fee agreed to by Disney including the offer to “reimburse the $1.525 billion break-up fee to be paid by you to Disney, for a total cost to Comcast of $4.025 billion, in the highly unlikely scenario that our transaction does not close because we fail to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals.”